Didja know it was on this day July 29th 1960 that Roy Orbison had his first number one record, although in the U.K. with “Only The Lonely” where he was more popular than he was in the U.S. at the time! However the record came close, hitting the number two position in May of that year…Roy had written and originally intended the song for The Everly Bros or Elvis, but both the brothers and The King turned the song down claiming it was “Too dramatic” A criticism that plagued him in his early days. Critics and Dee Jays labeled his music as “Operatic Rock” But it didn’t take long for Roy to turn it into a positive, with incredible follow ups like “Running Scared” a mini opera in itself and the now classic “Crying” Not to mention “Pretty Woman”
And, what’s more No, Roy Orbison was not blind, he did however wear corrective lenses, he was far-sighted, the dark glasses he wore onstage were only for effect. His “Look” all began while in England on a very early tour opening for The Beatles! He lost his corrective lenses, borrowed a pair of sun glasses and “Bam” The coolest look in Rock and Roll was born. Roy loved the look. With the dark shades and always a dark suit he was known as the man in black BEFORE Johnny Cash.
Let’s listen to Roy’s first number one, at least in the U.K.